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Does My Child Need Blue Light Glasses?

Optical Store & Eye Care Center in Lincoln Park

Optical Store & Eye Care Center in Lincoln Park

There is some controversy around the topic of blue light, especially when it comes to children’s eye health and screen time.

Some claim that it’s harmful to a child’s growing eyes and may contribute to retinal damage and other eye conditions. Others believe that blue light isn’t anything to worry about.

Below, we’ll explore what science has to say about blue light, and whether you should invest in a pair of blue light glasses for your child or teen.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is a high-energy light on the spectrum of visible electromagnetic energy. Some intense forms of blue light have a similar frequency to ultraviolet light, which can penetrate through the eye and reach the retina.

The main source of blue light is the sun, but it’s also emitted by artificial indoor lighting, smartphones, and other digital devices.

Is Blue Light Harmful?

Studies are mixed regarding the safety of blue light on retinal health. The main studies that prove blue light’s harmful effects have been conducted on rats, not humans, and involved very high amounts of blue light. Scientists are trying to determine whether digital screens and indoor lighting, which emit far less blue light, can cause eye damage, especially in the long term.

A study published in Integrative Biology used petri dishes to host retinal cells that were exposed to high-intensity blue light. In this experiment, the retinal cells underwent drastic changes and even cellular death upon intense exposure. However, this may not accurately represent how blue light interacts with retinal cells within the eye.

One thing is certain about blue light: it affects the quality of our sleep and causes eye strain.

Blue light triggers certain cells in the retina that communicate with the pineal gland in the brain. The pineal gland produces a sleep hormone called melatonin — a vital component of the circadian rhythm. When blue light inhibits melatonin production, it may lead to poor sleep quality or insomnia.

Since blue light makes the body more alert, the recommendation is to stop using digital devices at least 2 hours before bedtime.

Can Kids and Teens Benefit From Blue Light Glasses?

Blue light glasses are a good idea for kids and teens who spend a lot of time in front of screens, especially in the evenings.

A study by the University of Houston found that participants (ages 17-42) who wore blue light glasses experienced a 58% increase in their nighttime melatonin levels. This finding is relevant to kids and teens who spend night hours being productive in front of a screen.

A small-scale study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health showed that blue light glasses were effective in minimizing alertness and inducing melatonin production in healthy teenage boys, improving their circadian rhythm.

Some studies have found a link between a child’s disrupted biological clock and an increased risk of several health problems, including metabolic syndrome, depression, and cancer.

Blue light glasses don’t claim to minimize these risks, but simply increase a child’s ability to produce more melatonin and potentially have better quality sleep.

Blue light glasses also reduce eye fatigue and digital eye strain by reducing glare. Blue light can decrease contrast, causing the eyes to work harder and strain for a clearer image.

Symptoms of digital eye strain in children and adolescents include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Poor posture
  • Changes in vision
  • Dry eyes

We Provide Blue Light Glasses and Other Services

Here’s the bottom line:

If your child spends much of their time studying or completing homework on a computer, or playing games on a phone or tablet, you may want to consider getting them blue light glasses to improve the quality of their sleep and reduce digital eye strain.

At Eye Mechanix, we take the time to sit with each patient and ask the necessary questions to get a full picture of your lifestyle and visual needs. Our optometric team will guide you and your child through all of their options, whether it’s blue light glasses, regular glasses, or contact lenses.

To schedule your child’s eye exam or to learn more about what we offer, contact Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do blue light glasses filter out all of the blue light?

  • A: No. Blue light glasses usually filter out around 80% of incoming blue light. Because there isn’t a way to filter out 100% of blue light, we recommend limiting screen time whenever possible and wearing 100% UV-blocking sunglasses when outdoors during the day.

Q: Are blue light glasses the same as computer glasses?

  • A: The lenses of computer glasses have a slight magnification to relieve the eye muscles from constantly focusing on the near screen. Blue light glasses usually have a yellowish tint to filter out blue light.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Eye Mechanix for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


How to Choose Eyeglass Frames For Your Features

You’re ready for new glasses. But how do you know which frames will best suit your features?

Some people take pictures of all the pairs they try on and send them to their friends, family or coworkers for feedback. But that’s time consuming and not particularly efficient.

Here’s a better way! Learn what frame features to look to suit the size and shape of your face, as well as your skin tone.

Below are a handful of tips that are sure to help select your frame.

What’s Your Face Shape?

The secret to finding your perfect frames is choosing a pair that best suits your face shape.

You see, our features vaguely resemble particular geometric shapes.

For example:

  • Heart-shaped faces have a narrow chin, a wide forehead and cheeks, and are sometimes topped off with a widow’s peak hairline
  • Round faces have full cheeks, a more rounded hairline and chin, and are similar in width and length
  • Oval faces are similar to round faces, except longer and thinner
  • Square faces have a strong jawline and forehead, and are roughly equal in width and length

So a pair of rectangular frames on a square face will further emphasize the squareness, but rounder glasses can help soften those angles. Rectangular frames are best suited for an oval or round face.

If you don’t already know your face shape, just look in the mirror, close one eye, and draw the outline of your face with a washable marker. The end result should resemble one of the above-mentioned shapes.

Size and Color Matter

Consider the size and color of the frames, along with their shape. They should be the right size for your face—not too big and not too small. This is true for both adults and children.

If you have a cool skin tone, colors to consider for your frames are blue, pink, blue-grey, silver, black, or rose-brown.

If you have warmer skin tones, frame colors like warm blue, off-white, fire-engine red, orange, copper, peach, copper or gold tend to look better.

Looking for Your Ideal Frames? We Can Help!

Want to look great and see clearly? Pop on over and select from a wide range of high-quality designer frames and independent eyewear that match your personal style.

If you need any help, our dedicated optician will happily help you find something that will make you feel confident as ever. Our inclusive selection of sunglasses, eyeglasses, reading glasses, and contact lenses guarantee that you’ll achieve clear and comfortable vision in style.

Contact or visit Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park so we can start looking for the perfect frames for you.

At Eye Mechanix, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 773-857-1260 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lincoln Park eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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5 Sunglasses Trends Worth Knowing

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Frequntly Asked Questions with Dr. Randall Ricketts

Q&A

Q: How do I choose glasses that my child will actually wear?

  • A: When choosing frames for your child, the most important factor is to let them help in the selection process. When children are allowed to choose their glasses frames they will be much more likely to wear them.

Q: How often should I get a new pair of glasses?

  • A: Optometrists recommend updating to new glasses every one to three years as needed.
    If your prescription has changed, you should definitely get a new pair to prevent eye strain and increase comfort.

Can I Wear Contacts with Astigmatism?

Contact Lens Eye Exams in Lincoln Park

Contact Lens Eye Exams in Lincoln Park

Have astigmatism and want to wear contact lenses? No problem!

Astigmatism is a common refractive error caused by an abnormal or uneven curvature of the cornea that impedes your eye’s ability to focus light properly on the retina. This results in blurry or distorted vision that makes it difficult to distinguish forms and details at any distance. It can also cause headaches, fatigue and eye strain.

Fortunately, there are several types of contact lenses that correct astigmatism, as well as nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Can I Wear Contacts with Astigmatism?

If you have mild to moderate astigmatism, contacts are an affordable and convenient way to correct your vision. In fact, contacts can reduce distortion, offer a wide visual field, and improve visual clarity.

Toric contact lenses are one type of contact lens— in fact, they’re specifically designed to correct astigmatism. They’re slightly thicker and larger, and more stable on the eye than non-toric contacts.

Toric lenses have various design features to ensure they sit correctly on your eye. One of them is the weight at the bottom made to keep them in place and prevent rotation. These lenses are also designed to move with your eye, allowing tears to flow under the lens so you can maintain comfortable and clear vision.

There are two types of astigmatism:

  • Regular or corneal astigmatism. This is the most common form of astigmatism. It occurs when the cornea curves in more than one direction, and instead of a sphere, it’s oval-shaped. This type of astigmatism can be corrected by wearing contact lenses, glasses, or through surgery.
  • Irregular astigmatism. This occurs when the cornea unevenly curves in several directions and in varying degrees. In such cases, rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contacts are the best option.

Types of Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

There are four types of toric contact lenses, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Soft contact lenses

Soft contact lenses are a popular choice for those with mild to moderate astigmatism. Their softness and flexibility provide comfort, they’re simple to insert and remove, and stay put on the moving eye. However, achieving the best final prescription can be challenging, especially for moderate to high levels of astigmatism, as the visual clarity might not be as stable as an RGP lens. Your optometrist might need to make several adjustments to achieve desired results.

RGP contact lenses

While RGP lenses are smaller and harder than soft lenses, they are more oxygen-permeable and allow more tears to surround the lens. At first, these lenses may feel less comfortable than soft contacts since they are less flexible. Overtime, as you get used to wearing them, these lenses will become more comfortable.

Because they maintain their shape, RGP lenses are more effective than soft lenses at correcting astigmatism and improving visual clarity. They also keep their shape when you blink, allowing for a more stable and clearer vision. That said, they can dislodge during strenuous physical activities. Another disadvantage of RGP lenses is that debris, such as dirt and dust, may get trapped under the lens and cause irritation.

Hybrid contact lenses

Hybrid contacts combine a rigid gas-permeable center with softer edges composed of soft hydrogel or silicone hydrogel. These lenses provide comfort while maintaining the clarity that RGP lenses provide. Because of their large size and thin edges, they’re less likely to fall out during physical activities.

Scleral contact lenses

Scleral lenses are rigid and maintain their shape regardless of the corneal shape. In addition, they sit on the sclera rather than the cornea, allowing the eye to properly focus light and therefore ensuring sharp vision and comfort. The liquid reservoir trapped behind the scleral lens compensates for corneal astigmatism and ensures a secure fit.

How We Can Help

During your comprehensive eye exam, we’ll determine the severity of your astigmatism, as well as your degree of farsightedness or nearsightedness. We will also recommend which contact lenses are best for you, based on your needs. In some cases, your astigmatism will require custom-made toric contact lenses.

Schedule an appointment with Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park to receive your contact lens eye exam and initial lens fitting, the first step toward sharper, more comfortable vision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is a contact lens exam the same as a regular eye exam?

  • A: If you wear or want to wear contacts, you need a contact lens exam in addition to a regular eye exam. Your eye doctor will perform special tests during a contact lens exam to evaluate your vision with contacts.An eyeglass prescription is not the same as a contact lens prescription. A contact lens prescription measures lenses that sit directly on the surface of the eye, whereas an eyeglass prescription measures lenses that are positioned around 12 millimeters from your eyes. After your eye doctor has determined your prescription they will conduct a contact lens fitting.

Q: What is a contact lens fitting?

  • A: Since contact lenses are not one-size-fits-all, your eye doctor will need to take measurements of your corneal curvature, pupil or iris size and will evaluate your tear film, to properly fit your contact lenses. Contact lenses that do not fit properly can cause blurry vision, discomfort and even damage your eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Eye Mechanix for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What Is A Digital [Eye_Exam]?

Eye Doctor In Lincoln Park

Eye Doctor In Lincoln Park

Digital eye exams allow the optometrist to detect changes to your eyes faster and with greater accuracy. Eye conditions can now be detected earlier, resulting in improved treatment, thanks to new and improved digital equipment.

What Is a Digital Eye Exam?

You’ve probably already had a digital exam without realizing it, as they’re popping up at eye doctors‘ offices all over the place.

Digital eye exams are personalized automated tests that are often used in conjunction with regular vision exams to save time during your visit.

These include computerized sensors that use cutting-edge technology to produce an accurate guide to your optical prescription and check for underlying eye conditions. These devices speed up the process by computing the results automatically, rather than having the eye doctor perform the complete eye exam manually. At the conclusion of your eye exam, your eye doctor analyzes all the measurements and images to calculate your eyeglass prescription and assess your eye health.

How Does A Digital Eye Exam Check Eye Health?

In addition to assessing your vision, digital eye exams can map and image your eye, providing the eye doctor with detailed information about your ocular health. Digital eye tests include:

  • Corneal Topography – to assess corneal health and help with contact lens fittings
  • Digital Retinal Imaging – used to detect serious eye diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration
  • Optical Coherence Tomography – identifies any signs of diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension in your eyes using 3D color images

At Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park we offer digital eye exams to help you maintain healthy eyes and vision. Take advantage of this new technology by scheduling an eye exam today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I have my pupils dilated?

  • A: Your eye doctor typically dilates your pupils during a comprehensive eye exam to get the best possible view of the retina, optic nerves and other parts of the eye. This helps them catch glaucoma, macular degeneration and other irreversible eye diseases before they progress to severe vision loss.

Q: How often should I get a digital eye exam?

  • A: It’s recommended to have a comprehensive eye exam — digital or regular — every one to two years, depending on your age, risk factors and whether you currently wear glasses or contact lenses.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Eye Mechanix for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Common Keratoconus Questions, Answered

5 Common Keratoconus Questions, Answered 640If you’re reading this, you or someone you care about may have been recently diagnosed with keratoconus. We’ve compiled a few commonly asked questions about keratoconus to help you understand what it is, what causes it, and how your eye doctor can help.

1. What Is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive, non-inflammatory disease that causes the cornea to thin and bulge, resulting in a cone-shaped cornea. Over time, this bulge leads to myopia and irregular astigmatism, and vision becomes progressively distorted. Ongoing treatment is crucial to prevent significant vision loss.

2. What Are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?

Many patients aren’t aware that they have keratoconus, which typically begins during the teenage years.

Symptoms of keratoconus include:

  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Blurry vision
  • Halos and glare around lights
  • Increased sensitivity to bright light
  • Headaches or eye irritation associated with eye pain
  • Progressively worsening vision that’s not easily corrected

3. What Causes Keratoconus?

While there is no one cause of keratoconus, a paper published in Biomed Research International (2015) identified these risk factors:

  • Genetics – About one in 10 people with keratoconus also has a family member with the condition.
  • Inflammation – Irritation and inflammation from allergies, asthma and other atopic eye diseases can lend to the development of keratoconus.
  • Rubbing your eyes – Intense and frequent eye rubbing is thought to thin out the cornea and can worsen the condition if you already have it.
  • Underlying disorders – Keratoconus has been associated with several conditions, including Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Leber congenital amaurosis, Marfan syndrome and Osteogenesis imperfecta.
  • UV light – UV light can cause oxidative stress, which weakens the corneas in predisposed eyes.
  • Weak collagen – In a healthy eye, small protein fibers called collagen help keep the cornea in a dome-like shape and free from bulges. In an eye that suffers from keratoconus, the collagen fibers become weak and therefore can’t maintain the shape of the eye, which causes the cornea to bulge.

4. How Is Keratoconus Treated?

Scleral lenses are the most common and successful treatment for patients with keratoconus. They are specialized rigid, gas permeable contact lenses that have a very wide [diameter] and vault over the entire corneal surface, making them effective and comfortable for people with keratoconus.

5. Is There a Cure for Keratoconus?

Currently, there is no cure for keratoconus. However, in most cases, it can be successfully managed.

For mild to moderate keratoconus, scleral contact lenses are typically the treatment of choice, as they provide clear, comfortable vision.

A relatively non-invasive procedure called corneal cross-linking (CXL) can stabilize and strengthen a thinning and irregularly shaped cornea.

Learning the answers to these common questions is just the first step to preserve your vision. At Eye Mechanix, we can recommend the best treatment options for your keratoconus, to ensure the highest level of comfort and visual acuity. Call to schedule an appointment to start discussing your keratoconus treatment options.

Eye Mechanix serves patients from Chicago, La Grange , , and , all throughout Illinois.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Randall Ricketts

Q: Can You Go Blind If You Have Keratoconus?

  • A: Keratoconus does not typically cause total blindness. However, as keratoconus progresses it can cause visual impairment including blurred distance vision, distortion, glare, astigmatism, extreme light sensitivity and even vision loss that can be classified as “legal blindness.

Q: Does keratoconus affect both eyes?

  • A: Yes, in approximately 90% of keratoconus cases, the disease will manifest in both eyes. However, the rate of progression and the timing of the onset of the disease is different for each eye.



Request A Scleral Lens Appointment Today
Can Scleral Lenses Help You? Find Out! 773-857-1260

7 Reasons To Wear Sunglasses

Designer Sunglasses & Optical Frames at Eye Mechanix

Sunglasses Not Only Protect Your Eyes, But They Look Great and Can Accommodate Every Style and Budget

How times have changed. This year, Summer is looking very different than it did a year ago. Yet despite COVID-19, it’s important to spend time outdoors, whether in your garden or on daily walks.

Although sunglasses are ubiquitous symbols of style, they also serve an important function in protecting your eye health.

7 Reasons To Sport A Great Pair Of Sunglasses

    • Sunglasses Provide UV Protection

When most people think about sun-related damage, they think about their skin. But the sun’s ultraviolet rays also pose a threat to a person’s eyes. Protect your eyes by wearing a pair of sunglasses that block 100% of both UVB and UVA radiation.

  • They Help Prevent Cataracts and Macular Degeneration

Both cataracts and macular degeneration are the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness worldwide. You’re at a higher risk of developing these conditions if you expose your eyes to excessive amounts of UV radiation. The risk can be minimized by wearing glasses that protect against this radiation.

  • Cataracts cloud the lenses of the eyes, causing blurred vision. Years of exposure to UV rays cause the protein in the lens of the eye to clump and thicken, preventing light from passing through it. ..
  • Macular degeneration refers to central vision loss due to a damaged retina. UV light can be harmful to the eyes, specifically the retina, and exposure to UV rays is a risk factor for the onset of age-related macular degeneration later in life.
  • Sunglasses Can Help Prevent Certain Cancers

Ultraviolet exposure has been associated with certain eye cancers and several types of skin cancer found on the eyelids. You can reduce your risk significantly by wearing a pair of sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection. Keep in mind that when choosing shades, it doesn’t matter how dark they are or the color of the lenses. The most important thing is that they block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.

  • Sunglasses Keep You Looking Younger

Though a stylish pair of shades makes anyone feel youthful on the inside, it can also make you actually look younger on the outside. By protecting the delicate skin around your eyes, sunglasses slow down the development of wrinkles and crow’s feet. This leads to a more youthful appearance over the years.

  • They Protect Highly Sensitive Eyes

If you have light-colored eyes, take medication that causes photosensitivity (light sensitivity), or have a medical condition that causes you to be more sensitive to light (such as dry eye, corneal abrasion, scleritis, or conjunctivitis) you’ll need to protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses. Note that large sunglasses block more UV rays than smaller ones.

  • Shades Protect Eyes Recovering From a Medical Procedure

Eye surgeries such as LASIK or cataract surgery are common nowadays. You must continue to wear sunglasses following a procedure to prevent complications.

  • Sunglasses Enable You to See and Enjoy More

Aside from protecting your eye health, wearing sunglasses helps you see better in bright light. They reduce glare and improve the contrast of what you see, allowing you to better enjoy the sunny outdoors or drive more safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know which Sunwear lenses absorb UV rays the most?

  • A: Generally, most Sunwear lenses will absorb UV lenses to some degree. Lenses that are marked CR-39R plastic, absorb about 88 percent of UV light. If sunglasses contain polycarbonate lenses, UV absorption will be 100 percent.

Q: Is there a difference between a cheap pair of regular sunglasses versus designer sunglasses?

  • A: I believe once you put on a pair of polarized sunglasses you will understand and appreciate the difference. the clarity and the color difference are amazing. It is also one of the best ways to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. A “regular” pair of sunglasses is better than nothing ( along with wearing a hat) in protecting your eyes from the sun, but there is no comparison to polarized sunglasses

Visit the Lincoln Park Optical Near You

In addition to the countless eye health benefits that come with regularly wearing sunglasses, a pair of stylish shades can really spice up your look. Moreover, at Eye Mechanix, we offer a range of styles to choose from, whether you’re on a tight budget or want to splurge on high-end designer shades. So come visit us in Lincoln Park and select your favorite pair.

How’s Your Hand-Eye Coordination?

People with poor hand-eye coordination are sometimes perceived as clumsy or inattentive. The truth is that poor hand-eye coordination stems from a deficit in visual-motor coordination. Fortunately, your eye doctor will assess your coordination during a comprehensive eye exam.

What Is Hand-Eye Coordination?

Hand-eye coordination is a person’s ability to smoothly control their hand movements based on the visual cues they receive from the brain. When the eyes and brain are communicating effectively, a person’s hand-eye coordination can be drastically improved. Many activities, from driving a car to catching a ball, depend on our visual system working at its best.

Here’s how it works: Our eyes capture what they see around them, and send this visual information to the brain. The brain processes and interprets these images, and then communicates with our hands and arms, informing them of the object’s position, speed, size and many other parameters.

This process is very complex and must work seamlessly for our hands to react quickly to visual stimuli. Having good hand-eye coordination can be the difference between turning the steering wheel away from an encroaching car to avoid an accident, or being hit by that car.

We all utilize hand-eye coordination multiple times throughout the day when doing things like:

  • Writing
  • Driving
  • Typing
  • Playing a video game
  • Exercising or playing sports
  • Inserting a credit card into a chip reader

When the visual and motor systems don’t communicate efficiently, a person may experience symptoms like clumsiness at the very least, and professional, academic or developmental challenges at the worst. For example, poor hand-eye coordination can interfere with typing skills, attention and handwriting.

Even a person with perfect visual acuity (eyesight) and great motor skills can experience poor hand-eye coordination. That’s because the problem usually isn’t with the individual systems, but rather how the brain, eyes and the body interact with each other.

Eye Exams Can Detect Problems With Visual Skills

Assessing hand-eye coordination is crucial for both adults and children, as this skill greatly impacts most parts of life.

At your comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will check several visual skills, including hand-eye coordination. If a problem with hand-eye coordination or any other visual skill is found, Dr. Randall Ricketts will discuss the next steps in treating and correcting the problem.

To schedule an eye exam for you or your child, call Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park today!

Q&A

#1: What other visual skills are evaluated during an eye exam?

During an eye exam, your optometrist will test for visual acuity, convergence, eye tracking, eye teaming, color vision, and focusing. Testing these skills is especially important for school-aged children, since learning and academic performance heavily depend on healthy vision.

#2: How often do you need a comprehensive eye exam?

Adults should have their eyes examined by an optometrist every year, or as frequently as their optometrist recommends. Children should have their eyes first checked at 6-12 months of age and then as frequently as advised by the optometrist. As a rule, most children should be seen when they are 2 or 3 years old, before first grade and then every year thereafter.

If you have any concerns about your child’s vision or are yourself due for an eye exam, contact us today. We want what’s best for your vision and life!

Why Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive To Light?

Did you know that blue eyes don’t contain any blue pigment? They appear blue due to how the light reacts with the structures of the iris.

In fact, the top layer of a blue iris doesn’t contain any pigment at all. This lack of pigment is the reason that blue-eyed people may be more sensitive to bright light and have a greater need to wear sunglasses than their brown-eyed counterparts.

Why Do Your Eyes Need Sun Protection?

Eyes of all colors need shielding from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to UV light can contribute to the formation of short-term and long-term eye conditions such as corneal sunburn and macular degeneration.

That’s why it’s so important to choose high-quality sunwear with 100% UV blocking lenses, and to throw on a sun hat for an added layer of protection.

UV protection is important for individuals of all ages—especially children—who are more susceptible than adults to the sun’s harmful rays, and tend to spend more time outdoors. It is estimated that up to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 18.

Why are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light?

Lighter colored eyes like blue, hazel and green have less of a pigment called ‘melanin’ than brown eyes do.

Melanin helps protect the retina from UV damage and blue light, putting those with blue eyes at a higher risk of developing UV-related eye damage.

If you have blue eyes, you may have experienced this first-hand. Bright light may be uncomfortable or you may want to reach for your shades as soon as you leave the house on a sunny day.

That’s why optometrists urge blue-eyed patients to be particularly vigilant about UV protection, so as to mitigate their chances of developing eye disease and other complications.

How We Can Help

Whether you have blue eyes or not, sunglasses are an important part of keeping your eyes healthy for a lifetime.

At Eye Mechanix, we’ll be happy to advise on the perfect high-quality and protective pair of sunglasses to suit your needs and personal style.

To learn more about the eye care services we offer or to schedule an eye exam, contact Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park today!

Q&A:

Frequently Asked Questions with Randall Ricketts O.D.

Q 1: Should I wear sunglasses even when it’s not sunny outside?

  • A: Yes! You should wear your sunglasses whenever outdoors during the day, even on an overcast, winter day. UV light can pass through clouds and reflect off surfaces like car windows and pavement.

Q 2: What type of sunglasses are the most suitable for blue eyes?

  • A: The most protective sunglasses are wraparound sunglasses that protect the eyes from every angle. You can also opt for photochromic lenses, which offer total UV protection but only become tinted when exposed to outdoor sunlight, and turn clear when you come indoors again. Your optometrist can help you choose the best lens and frame options for your needs and lifestyle.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Chicago, Illinois. Visit Eye Mechanix for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Is It Time for New Glasses?

Glasses and sunglasses near you

Optical Store & Vision Center in Lincoln Park, Illinois

No matter how much you love your current pair of glasses, there comes a time when you need to say goodbye to your old pair of specs and replace them with a new pair. But how can you determine when it’s time to do the switch?

Read the following questions and see which ones resonate with you. If you identify with any — or all of them — consider getting new glasses.

Has Your Vision Deteriorated?

Many people continue to wear an old prescription believing that it’s still serving its purpose. The problem is that when you wear glasses that no longer meet your needs, you’re actually causing great discomfort by seeing everything in a blur.

If your vision has gotten worse, you may find yourself compensating by squinting or causing your eye muscles to work extra hard in order to better focus on objects. This often leads to headaches and eye strain. In fact, one of the signs that you need a new pair of glasses is when you experience frequent headaches and feel relieved after removing your glasses.

If you’re seeing less clearly than you used to, or if you haven’t been to the eye doctor in over a year, make sure to contact Eye Mechanix and make an appointment. The sooner Dr. Randall Ricketts examines your eyes and prescribes new glasses or lenses as needed, the better you will see and feel.

Are Your Lenses Scratched?

Scratches on your glasses are a permanent sign of damage that cannot be fixed. While scratches may seem harmless, they can affect your vision, eventually causing eye strain and headaches. So if your lenses are scuffed, consider buying a new pair with scratch-resistant lenses for the clearest vision possible.

Has Your Lens Coating Worn Off?

If your lenses have scratch-resistant or anti-reflective coatings, these coatings sometimes become cloudy, making it feel like perpetually looking through a dirty window.

If your coating is wearing off, consider getting a new pair of glasses with a new set of lens coatings.

Are Your Glasses the Best Design for Your Needs?

Technological innovations are constantly providing people who wear glasses even more comfortable, high-quality options.

Thanks to advanced technology, your lenses can serve many purposes simultaneously. For example, progressive lenses offer those with multiple prescriptions the convenience of not having to constantly switch their glasses. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, you can further customize your lenses by adding a blue light coating to reduce digital eye strain and prevent your eyes from being exposed to potentially harmful blue light, typically emitted by digital screens.

Furthermore, if you live in a sunny region, you may also benefit from having transition lenses that automatically adjust to lighting conditions: they become lighter indoors but darken when exposed to sunlight.

So while you may not necessarily need a new pair of glasses to see better, you may want to get a new pair that incorporates the newest technology to significantly increase your clarity and comfort levels.

Getting glasses is surprisingly easy. Simply book a consultation at Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park, where Dr. Randall Ricketts will provide you with a comprehensive vision exam and provide you with a prescription to purchase glasses. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find the perfect glasses for your unique face and lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it bad to wear my old designer glasses with an old prescription? What’s the best way to replace them?

  • A: Yes I would it say it is not the best decision to wear any old prescription unless they will be used as a back-up or supplement to your corrected vision. However if you prefer to keep your old frame, and it is still in condition to handle the new lenses of your updated prescription then by all means. We have opticians that would be happy to thoroughly inspect the condition and accommodate you.

Q: Can I borrow and use someone else’s glasses?

  • A: Most glasses are spefically customized for a particular patient. If you are wearing someone’s glasses, it could improve your vision some, but it will not give you the crisp clear vision that a personalized pair of glasses does.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Eye Mechanix for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


4 Reasons Why Scleral Lenses Are a Big Deal

happy girl wearing contact lenses 640Scleral contact lenses have been called “life-changing” and “transformative” by patients who wear them.

What makes these contact lenses so revolutionary?

What Are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are contacts that vault over the entire cornea and rest on the white part of the eye (sclera). Their diameter is much larger than standard lenses, which adds to their comfort and compatibility with hard-to-fit eyes.

Here’s why they’re gaining popularity in the contact lens world and why patients and doctors are calling sclerals a big deal.

1. Sclerals are Ideal for People with Corneal Irregularities or Dry Eyes

There was a time when patients with corneal irregularities or severe dry eye syndrome weren’t able to wear contact lenses at all, due to the discomfort associated with direct corneal contact. Nowadays, patients with keratoconus, other corneal aberrations or dry eye can successfully wear scleral contact lenses and enjoy comfortable and crisp vision.

Scleral lenses are also great for patients with corneal dystrophy, high astigmatism, Sjorgren’s syndrome, corneal trauma and corneal ectasia, or who have undergone cataract surgery.

2. They’re Completely Custom-Made

Each pair of scleral contact lenses is custom-designed to gently and securely rest on your unique eyes. The fitting process for scleral lenses starts with corneal topography, where the optometrist creates a digital map of your eye’s surface. This information is then used to customize your perfectly fitted pair of sclerals.

3. They Offer Optimal Visual Clarity and Comfort

The liquid reservoir that sits between the lens and the eye helps enhance the visual optics of the lens. Moreover, scleral lenses are made of very high-grade materials and don’t place any pressure on the cornea, delivering ultimate all-day comfort. Many patients have reported that they comfortably wear sclerals for up to 14 hours a day, which is longer than the wear time for standard soft contact lenses.

4. They Promote Eye Healing

Scleral contact lenses protect the eye by surrounding it with an oxygen-permeable, liquid-filled chamber. This hydrating environment gives the eye the moisture and oxygen it needs to stay healthy and ward off outside irritants.

This can also explain why scleral lenses promote healing of the eye’s surface, whether after a corneal transplant or when recovering from a chemical burn or other eye injury.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a corneal condition that prevents you from wearing standard lenses, consider scleral lenses. To schedule an appointment or to learn more, call Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park today!

Eye Mechanix serves patients from Chicago, La Grange , , and throughout Illinois.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Randall Ricketts

Q: #1: How long do a pair of scleral lenses last?

  • A: Scleral lenses can last 1-2 years before requiring replacement. Your optometrist will provide you with instructions on how to wear and care for your lenses to keep them feeling fresh and clean, day in day out.

Q: #2: Are scleral lenses expensive?

  • A: Just like any other customized product, scleral lenses tend to be more expensive than standard soft contact lenses. Although they have a higher price point, most patients who wear them will tell you that their comfort, visual clarity and stability make them worth the cost.


Request A Scleral Lens Appointment Today
Can Scleral Lenses Help You? Find Out! 773-857-1260